Alberta wood pellet plant to resume partial operations

February 25, 2019

By: The Working Forest Staff

A wood-pellet production plant in Entwistle, Alta., which was rocked by a fire and explosion on Feb. 11, will reopen next month.

Dry fibre production at Pinnacle Renewable Energy will resume in March, the company said in a press release. Once the investigation into the incident is complete, the company will decide on a timeline to gear up to full production.

The company also confirmed that 12 workers — six employees and six contractors — were injured in the incident at the plant, located about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Most of the injuries were minor, the news release said, but one of the contractors, identified as Kody Richter, is still in hospital in Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.

A stop work order was issued by Occupational Health and Safety following the incident, which caused damage to the dryer area of the plant.

The investigation by OHS and Parkland County fire department is continuing.

Since the fire, the company said it has brought in a critical incident counselor for its workers. As well, Pinnacle said it is continuing to pay employee wages and benefits through the closure.

The Entwistle plant started operating last year, creating 70 jobs in the area.

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